There is a real Kafka vibe about The Disappearing Man. Middle aged Harry Henshaw is convinced he is going round the twist and that he may actually be disappearing. Everyone one around him barely seem to see him, his wife’s friend talk about him as if he is not there. His boss is convinced he is skiving when he is working and the council department have no record of his long standing bid for a council house after 1952.
A brilliant central performance from Victor Maddern as the troubled Harry and an excellent script from Brian Phelan that turns and repeats on itself until the final inevitability.
Besides Maddern there are also appearances from the fabulous Ray Smith and Talfryn Thomas as the tramp who tells Harry he needs to take “drastic action.” When Harry, who has by now taken to carrying a gun with him, fails to see his reflection in a train carriage window it’s tips him right over the edge and he opens fire as the train takes on passengers at a busy station.
“If I’m not gonna disappear without trace I’ve got to do something.”
UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×25 minute episode / Broadcast 4 August 1972
Writer: Brian Phelan / Director: Henri Safran
Series: The Frighteners Episode 5 (of 13)
Victor Maddern as Harry
Avis Bunnage as Vi
Ray Smith as Guvnor
Ronald Hackett as Ted
John Ringham as Police Inspector
Margo Cunningham as Jenny Davis
Reginald Barrett as Council Clerk
Talfryn Thomas as Pram Man
Mark Moss as Barman
Dorothea Phillips as Shop Asistant
Richardson Morgan as 1st Policeman
Leslie Schofield as 2nd Policeman